Wundervölker, Monstrosität und Hässlichkeit im Mittelalter (German Edition)

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At its core, this was a system of exchange: people offered gifts to the gods in the hope that the gods would give them what they asked for. The gods often rewarded mortals who treated them well and showed them the appropriate deference and respect. Zeus and his siblings could be needlessly cruel and were often subject to jealousies and petty fights. His brothers Poseidon and Hades often used humans as pawns in these squabbles, which usually stemmed from a reluctance to accept the supreme god's authority as unquestionable.

Still more reluctant was his sister Demeter, a strong-willed deity in her own right. After she was pursued and raped by Poseidon, and Hades abducted her daughter Persephone, Demeter wreaked havoc across the world. Infidelity, too, was a major theme in all Greek myths—not just in the affairs and assaults committed by Zeus that riled the jealous Hera.

Marble sculptures from the Parthenon temple on the Acropolis in Athens show the gods—from left to right: Dionysus, Demeter, Persephone, and Artemis— reacting to the birth of Athena. Demeter was wroth with the gods and quitted heaven. Their attributes reflect the countless aspects of Greek everyday life in which the gods played an implicit part.

Both Zeus and the goddess Hestia were also gods of the home theoi ktesioi. Hestia, Dionysius, and Aphrodite were among the theoi daitioi, who presided over feasts and banquets. The gods themselves also needed sustenance. According to Greek tradition, they lived on a diet of nectar and ambrosia, carried to Mount Olympus by doves. To later belief systems, the notion that deities needed material sustenance seems at odds with their divinity.

Ancient Greek authorities, however, agreed on the importance of this nourishment for the gods to empower and sustain them. Zeus slipped easily into a position of authority over his brothers and sisters: though the youngest, he had been in the world by far the longest. So began the Titanomachy—the War of the Gods and Titans. Zeus, with the support of his siblings, launched a concerted and determined attack against the Titan gods.

The three Kyklopes—the one-eyed giants Brontes, Steropes, and Arges— sided with Zeus after he freed them from the Underworld. They were skilled craftstmen who made weapons for the gods: a mighty thunderbolt for Zeus, a cloak of invisibility for Hades, and a trident for Poseidon. The Hecatoncheires— Briareos, Kottos, and Gyges—also fought for the gods. Each of these terrifying giants had 50 heads and hands, and howled as they rampaged across the battlefield. Zeus, leader of the gods, stands beside an eagle in this 4th-century statue. Total war The war was fought on the lower slopes of Mount Olympus and across the open plains of Thessaly, but the earth-shattering conflict encompassed the entire world.

Huge rocks were hurled around; entire mountaintops were ripped up and sent flying back and forth as projectiles; bolts of lightning flashed like javelins across the sky. Flames rose up to the farthest heights of heaven; the thud of marching feet caused quakes in the most remote reaches of the Underworld; swirling dust clouds darkened the sky, and the din of the conflict was deafening.

Neither side would yield, so finally Zeus rallied his cohorts. He refreshed the Hecatoncheires with nectar and ambrosia—the divine and exclusive sustenance of the gods, which conferred immortality on any mortal who consumed it. The Fall of the Titans by Giulio Romano — Depicting the war of the Titans, this continuous fresco covers the walls and ceiling of the Sala dei Giganti in the Palazzo Te, Italy.

Ultimate triumph Reinvigorated, the Hecatoncheires were the tipping point. With such formidable allies and weapons, the gods were at last able to defeat the Titans. They banished them to Tartarus, the lowest pit of the Underworld, where the Titans were imprisoned for all eternity under the watch of the Hecatoncheires.

Zeus and his siblings now had full control over the cosmos. They set up their imperial seat on the top of Mount Olympus, from where they ruled the universe. Warfare in ancient Greece After the rise of the city-states of Athens, Sparta, and beyond, warfare became a way of life for the people of ancient Greece. The states fought each other for territory, trade, and power in highly ritualized wars—both sides would consult with oracles and sing hymns to the gods before meeting for set- piece battles. Some city-states, such as Sparta, became very militaristic.

This perhaps explains the recurrence of the idea of a war in heaven. Such stories dramatized real-life shifts in theological and spiritual thinking in ancient societies. For example, the Titanomachy could explain the shift from an earth cult, centerd around deities who lived in the Underworld, to the more sky- based theology found in ancient Greece.

Hera Wife and sister of Zeus; queen of the gods. Hephaestus The blacksmith god; son of Hera. The Muses Children of Zeus. The Horai Three sisters; goddesses of time and the seasons. The Moirae Three sisters; goddesses of fate. Originally, the dwellings of the ancient Greek deities were not in the heavens but in the heart of the earth.

Hephaestus, god of fire and the forge, built them palaces in the sheltered ravines of Mount Olympus. The palaces were built of stone on bronze foundations. They were both gigantic and luxurious, their floors inlaid with gold and precious stones. Zeus set up his throne at the top of the peak of Stefani. From there, he hurled his thunderbolts at those who displeased him in the world below. Mount Olympus, home of the Greek gods, rises from the Plain of Thessaly.

Thessaly was the site of the decade-long war the Titans fought against Zeus and his siblings. Apollo sang to them, accompanying himself upon his lyre. Sometimes the Muses came up from their home at the foot of Olympus to sing, dance, and tell stories. Zeus had one drawn by the four Anemoi, gods of the winds—Boreas north , Euros east , Notos south , and Zephyros west.

The Horai—the sisters Eirene, Eunomia, and Dike—guarded the gates to Olympus and saw to the orderly passage of time and the seasons. The council of the gods meets among the clouds on Olympus in this fresco by Italian Renaissance master Raphael , which shows Zeus conferring immortality on Psyche. Much of the time, its upper slopes are wreathed in snow or dense cloud, cutting off the summit from the view of mortals down below. It is no wonder that the ancient Greeks held this to be the royal seat of their reigning dynasty of gods. The idea of the sacred mountain existed long before the Greeks began to worship the Olympians, and is found in many other cultures.

Mount Meru, for example, towered at the cosmological center of Indian religions; Mount Fuji dominated the Japanese religious scheme; and Inca priests in Peru offered sacrifice high up on the Andean summits. In mythology, the mountain peak has often seemed to occupy a separate physical space from the Earth. Homer underlined this by showing Mount Olympus from different perspectives. Ancient Greece had many examples of this. The sanctuary of Dodona, in northwestern Greece, lay in a valley surrounded by a grove of oak trees.

The site seems to have been sacred to a matriarchal earth goddess since at least the 2nd millennium BCE—before the idea of Zeus took root. Isthmia—on the narrow land connecting the Peloponnese peninsula with the rest of Greece—was the obvious site for a shrine to Poseidon, god of the sea, beset on the narrow strip of land by roaring waves on either side. Yet archaeologists have found remains at Isthmia dating back long before the era of the Olympians, dedicated to a deity or deities unknown.

The gods pressed far-seeing Zeus of Olympus to reign over them. Iapetus The youngest Titan, son of Ouranos and Gaia. Klymene A sea nymph, daughter of the Titan Oceanus. Prometheus Son of Iapetus and Klymene. Deukalion Human son of Prometheus. Pyrrha Wife of Deukalion. Hephaestus The blacksmith god. He and his brothers held unchallenged sway over the heavens, Earth, and sea. No ruler could afford to become complacent, however seemingly unassailable their position—and a challenge to the authority of Zeus was fast approaching. Spirit of rebellion Prometheus, a young Titan and therefore a survivor of the old regime, was the son of Iapetus and Klymene, celebrated for quick intelligence, dexterity, and skill.

Different sources disagree on the precise part Prometheus played in the continuing struggle between Zeus and his subjects. Despite this, all sources regard him as a central part of the conflict. Self-confident in his cleverness, Prometheus was independent-minded, irreverent, and defiant. Prometheus Carrying Fire, by the Flemish painter Jan Cossiers , shows the young Titan stealing the precious resource for mankind.

This first race of humans walked the Earth for only a single generation before being swept away by an angry Zeus in a worldwide flood. Typically, Prometheus had outmaneuvered Zeus, prompting his son and his daughter-in-law to save themselves by building a floating wooden chest in which to ride out the deluge. Deukalion survived the great flood and its aftermath by showing more tact than his father. He thanked Zeus for letting him and Pyrrha live, built an altar, and offered sacrifice.

Zeus was so pleased to see this submissive spirit that he not only allowed Deukalion and Pyrrha to go on living but told Deukalion how he could re-create humanity. He and his wife were told to pick up stones and throw them backward over their heads. Prometheus shaped men out of water and clay.

Although lightning bolt. He was sentenced by represents the celestial sphere. Zeus to carry the heavens on his shoulders as punishment for resisting the Olympian ascendancy. He had no idea that she had been created to be both beautiful and deceitful, and was sent by Zeus to bring all manner of sorrows into the world. They were mentioned as existing during the reign of Kronos, but only incidentally, emerging into the foreground only in the age of the Olympian gods.

When Zeus summoned humans for a meeting on the sort of sacrifices they would have to offer him, Prometheus intervened on their behalf. Wrapping some choice beef inside an ugly oxhide, and a bundle of bones inside some of the most delicious meat, he offered Zeus the choice of which sacrifices should be made to him thenceforth. Zeus appeared to have fallen for the trick, asking for the outwardly appealing bag of bones—though Hesiod hints the king of the gods may have chosen this deliberately, to have an excuse for hating humans.

Either way, Zeus was enraged. The angry god hid the secret of fire from his human subjects. This not only deprived them of warmth and comfort but also hindered human progress. The stones which Deucalion threw became men; the stones which Pyrrha threw became women.


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Sickness, war, and discord were unknown; men and women lived for centuries, while trees and fields yielded their produce freely through an endless spring. The rise of Zeus saw an immediate decline in human fortunes. Out in the cold Without fire or the technologies it makes possible, mortals existed in a miserable state of subsistence. They foraged for food in darkness, damp, and cold, with only animal skins for clothes, surviving on raw roots, berries, and fruits when they were in season and uncooked carrion. As they fought a daily battle to stave off starvation, any possibility of shaping their wider destiny was unthinkable.

He took some glowing embers from a blaze built by the gods high up on Mount Olympus and, secreting this fire inside a hollow fennel stalk, he carried it down to the little encampments where mortal men and women shivered on the plains below. In that moment, human life was instantly and permanently transformed. Heat, warmth, light, and safety from predatory beasts was just the start.

In no time at all, humankind began to thrive—smelting metal, fashioning fine jewelry and strong tools, and blacksmithing all kinds of weapons, from hoes and hammers to spears and swords. Each new innovation opened the way to others— suddenly, humanity was progressing at a breakneck pace. Prometheus was punished by the gods for giving humans fire.

He was chained to Mount Caucasus to endure constant torture, as depicted by Jacob Jordaens Not only had he been defied in the most public way, but his power over humanity had been significantly weakened. Zeus decided that Prometheus deserved an eternal and painful punishment.

Here, with the help of Hephaestus, the blacksmith god, they chained Prometheus to a rock. An eagle flew down, tore at his abdomen, then pulled out the living, pulsing liver, and gorged on it. Despite the agony of this torture, it was no more than a beginning for the rebellious Titan. Each night his internal organs and his skin grew back, ready to be attacked afresh by the eagle the next day. For centuries, Prometheus was tied to the rock. He was finally rescued from his torments by Herakles, who found him while hunting for the elusive apples of the Hesperides.

Prometheus was not the only one punished for stealing fire from the gods. Zeus also inflicted his rage upon humankind, instructing Hephaestus to create the woman Pandora to punish the humans by bringing them hardship, war, and death. It stung anew Zeus, high thunderer in his spirit, and he raged in his heart when he saw among men the far-seen beam of fire. Zeus King of the gods of Mount Olympus.

Hephaestus Olympian blacksmith god and creator of the first woman. Epimetheus Titan brother of Prometheus. A jealous god When the Titan Prometheus stole fire from the gods, he did much to empower humanity, at high personal cost. In an existence that had been largely trouble- free, humanity, to whom he gave the gift of fire, continued to thrive and prosper.

As punishment, however, Prometheus would be held captive and tortured eternally at the hands of Zeus, who was a jealous and grudging deity. Zeus concluded that in order to correct the balance between divine and human power, some great calamity in the world was required. That calamity was woman. The glorious lame god molded clay into the shape of a demure and decorous young maiden. This new woman was enchanting in her beauty, seductive in her softness, inspiring in her smile, and soothing in her gentleness. Her name alone would have caused Prometheus concern.

Nor did he give a second glance to the present that she herself brought with her, a pithos or ceramic jar usually reimagined as a richly ornamented box in modern retellings. The all-gifted girl was both gift and giver. Prometheus had warned him never to accept a gift from Zeus. Although she had been warned against opening the pithon, it was her innocent curiosity—a characteristic given by Hera—that led to her downfall.

When she could not resist peeping inside the jar, she pulled back the lid, and all the ills and misfortunes of the world flew out: Hunger, Sickness, Loss, Loneliness, and Death. Horrified, Pandora hastily pushed the lid back on—just in time to prevent Hope from escaping. With hope, the world could still persevere, despite the adversity that the jealous Zeus had inflicted on mankind.

She is holding the infamous box from which all the troubles of the world poured forth. Landing further down the mountain with a crash, he was then rendered lame as well. The unprepossessing appearance of this first divine artisan was in sharp and highly symbolic contrast to the beauty of the many things that he created. He was often aided by attendants, such as Cedalion, who helped with his creations. Of all his many creations, Pandora is certainly the most wonderful—and the most flawed. According to Hesiod, it was Hephaestus who created the first woman, thereby enabling each generation of humanity to repeatedly replicate itself.

Hera Zeus's wife; queen of the gods. Mnemosyne Goddess of memory. Europa Phoenician princess. Antiope Daughter of the river god Asopos. Leda A Spartan princess. Metis Daughter of Oceanus. Athena Daughter of Metis. After he slept with her on nine consecutive nights, nine daughters were born.

Collectively known as the Muses, each of these daughters became responsible for inspiring mortals in a particular area of artistic endeavor: Calliope inspired epic poetry; Clio, history; Euterpe, lyric poetry and song; Erato, love poetry; and Polyhymnia, sacred poetry. Melpomene became responsible for inspiring tragic drama; Thalia took charge of comedy and pastoral poetry; Terpsichore inspired dance; and Urania, astronomy. All through the classical period, musicians and poets called on the Muses for assistance as they worked.

With the inspiration of the Muses, Hesiod said, musicians and poets could relieve a suffering mind of its cares. The nine Muses lived on Mount Helicon, central Greece. In this scene by Jacques Stella ca. The Muses gladden the great spirit of their father Zeus in Olympus with their songs, telling of things that shall be. He had assumed the form of a mortal—a handsome shepherd—to seduce Mnemosyne, and many of his other love affairs involved similar sorts of shape-shifting. The notoriously formidable goddess had dismissed Zeus disdainfully when he had first approached her, forcing him to take deceptive measures to win her affections.

First, he summoned a thunderstorm, then he stood outside her window and took on the form of a fledgling cuckoo, its expression helpless and its feathers ruffled up as if chilled and battered by the wind-blown hail. Hera could not bear to see this tiny creature suffering. She cupped the cuckoo in her hand and placed it inside her dress against her bosom, so that it could get warm. At this point, Zeus assumed his normal quasi-human form and seduced her. The conquest of Hera was not the only time Zeus took the form of a bird.

Zeus took on the shape of a swan in order to seduce the Spartan princess Leda. Apparently fleeing from an attacking eagle, he fell into her arms, but when she cradled him protectively, Zeus raped her. In the case of the Theban princess Semele, his choice of species—a raptor—clearly signaled his predatory intentions. Taking the form of an eagle, his royal emblem, he visited Semele and made her pregnant. Dionysus, god of wine and festivity, was the result of their union. Alcmene was a paragon of beauty, charm, and wisdom. She was betrothed to Amphitryon, the son of a Theban general.

He had been warned by an oracle that she was destined to bear a son who would one day slay him. To avoid this fate, he placed her in a cell so that no one could come near her. However, Zeus took the form of a shower of gold to pour himself through her prison skylight.

Hera As the daughter of the Titans Kronos and Rhea, and wife and sister of the mighty Zeus, it might seem odd that Hera was commonly associated with cattle. To the ancient Greeks, the cow was an emblem of motherhood and prosperity; wealth was often measured in the number of livestock owned. While Hera was clearly no sex symbol—a role more associated with the goddess of beauty, Aphrodite—she did exemplify the importance of women in everyday life in Greece. She was celebrated as a goddess of both marriage and virginity. Argos, Sparta, and Mycenae, according to Homer, were the cities she loved best.

Zeus as beast Despite her name, Europa was a child of Asia, a princess from Phoenicia, a region covering parts of Israel, Syria, and Lebanon. Picking flowers, Europa noticed the new bull and was struck by its beauty and its seeming gentleness. When she drew near to pet it, the bull lay down and she climbed onto its back.

Suddenly, the bull leapt up and sped away across the fields and over the sea while the terrified girl clung on for dear life. The bull only stopped when it reached the island of Crete, where Zeus at last revealed himself and bedded his young victim. Scholars think the story of Europa may have originated in Crete, where the cult of the bull also produced the story of Theseus and the Minotaur.

For his assault on Antiope, the daughter of Asopos, a river god from Attica in central Greece, Zeus took the shape of a satyr—a half-man, half-goat who roamed the wild woods. Usually associated with the idea of lechery, satyrs were often depicted with erections in ancient art; Zeus had disguised his identity, not his lust. A fearful Europa rides the waves, clinging to Zeus, who took the form of a bull to abduct her. Suddenly, the bull, possessed of his desire, jumped up and galloped off toward the sea.

Once he had raped Io, he turned her into a beautiful white heifer, to hide her from his wife. Hera saw through the trick and asked if she could have the heifer as a gift. Zeus had no option but to agree. Hera consigned Io to the care of the hundred-eyed giant Argus to watch over. Maddened with frustration, Zeus sent his son Hermes to slay the all-seeing herdsman; the divine messenger blinded Argus with a touch from his kerykeion, or staff.

If Zeus thought the way was now clear for him to pursue Io, he was wrong. Hera sent a fly to attack her. Buzzing about, and biting her again and again, the insect put Io to flight and chased her across the Earth. Io was never to find rest. Metis assumed a series of different forms to avoid him, but Zeus eventually succeeded in catching her and making her pregnant. Nevertheless, Zeus was worried: Metis was renowned for her sharp intellect and wiliness, and an oracle had told him that Metis was destined to bear a child who matched her strength and cunning.

Zeus—a usurper who had overthrown his own father—was on his guard against this child. Just before Metis was due to give birth, Zeus challenged her to a shape-shifting match. She was vain enough to agree. When Zeus told her that he did not believe she could transform herself into a tiny fly, she promptly did—and was swallowed by a triumphant Zeus.

Athena springs from a gash in Zeus's head, in a scene decorating an amphora ca. Behind Zeus, Prometheus holds the axe that made the wound. It was a clever trick, but it did not succeed. When Zeus developed an unbearable headache, the Titan god Prometheus swung an axe at his head, splitting it wide open. Out from the wound sprang Athena, the goddess of war and wisdom, in a full suit of armor.

Asteria in the form of a quail flew across the sea, with Zeus in pursuit.

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Zeus again disguised himself as an eagle to pursue Asteria, the Titan goddess of shooting stars. She transformed herself into another bird—the timid quail—in a desperate bid to escape and finally dove into the sea. There she changed her shape again and was preserved forever as an island, later variously identified as Delos or Sicily. Here she gave birth to twins: Apollo, the god of the sun and of poetry, prophecy, and healing; and the divine huntress Artemis, goddess of the moon.

Despite his countless acts of rape, deception, and infidelity, the king of the gods was not seen as a villain. Charon Ferryman of the River Styx. Cerberus Three-headed guardian of the Underworld; son of the serpentine Typhon and Echidna. Tantalus A Phrygian king held captive by Hades. Sisyphus King of Corinth, who tricked Hades into letting him go free. Hecate Goddess of witchcraft and necromancy. While Zeus ruled over the skies and Poseidon over the seas, their brother Hades guarded his subject-souls in the Underworld—the kingdom that bore his name, where mortal humans went when they died.

Acheron was the river of sadness, Cocytus that of mourning. Lethe was the river of forgetfulness, and Phlegethon an impassable river of fire. The River Styx marked the main border between Earth and the Underworld. The dead queued on one side of the river and paid the ferryman, Charon, with a coin to grant them passage into Hades. There, the new arrivals had to go through a large gate, guarded by the three-headed, snake-tailed monster, Cerberus.

Though loosely described as a dog, this creature was born of the union between the giant snake-man, Typhon, and the man-eating serpent- maiden, Echidna. Cerberus turned this same ferocity on those who attempted to escape. Charon and Cerberus were not the only nonhuman residents of Hades.

Nyx, the goddess of night, lived there, as did Eurynomos, a flesh-eating demon, and the goddess Hecate. The Furies served Hades as his torturers, while Tartarus was both a deity and the pit where Titans were punished. Hellish punishments Some souls faced hideous torments in Hades. For this, he was imprisoned in Hades, wracked with thirst and hunger, surrounded by a pool of water, and with fruit-laden branches that dangled inches from his face. When he leaned over to taste either the water or the fruit, they withdrew from his reach, driving him into a frenzy. Sisyphus, King of Corinth, had tricked Hades into thinking that he had been taken to the Underworld prematurely, and managed to get himself returned to Earth.

As punishment, he was sentenced to push an enormous boulder up a hill. Each time he got to the top, the stone rolled back down to the bottom and he had to start all over again—and again, and again, for the rest of all time. Round the pit from every side the crowd thronged, with strange cries, and I turned pale with fear. Odyssey Once Death has caught hold of a man, he never lets him go. According to the ancient writers, fallen heroes and the most virtuous were sent to the Elysian Fields—paradisiacal islands where they could live in bliss. Neither Hades nor Elysium, however, were representative of the ancient Greek view of the afterlife.

Stories about Elysium, or the punishment of Sisyphus, were isolated tales. There is no sense that the ancient Greeks, as a whole, believed in a systematic judgment of the dead. Hecate was conventionally depicted with three heads, representing the full moon, the crescent moon, and the empty dead-black sky. She was often identified with crossroads, especially those where three different paths met. Associated with liminal spaces and transitions, she was often worshipped by those wishing loved ones a safe crossing into the realm of the dead.

In myth, Persephone is often seen as the maiden and Demeter the mother; Hecate is the crone to complete the trio. Demeter was the goddess of the harvest, charged with ensuring that the fields were rich and fertile. Before tragedy struck, there was no winter, cold, or decay. The horses rear up between a sunlit world and ominous darkness. When Persephone pulled a narcissus from the ground, the earth split and opened up beneath her. A huge chariot thundered forth, drawn by sable-black horses.

As her companions fled, Persephone stood transfixed. A tall, shadowy figure leaned down from the chariot and scooped her up. Persephone struggled and wept, crying out for her father, Zeus. But her pleas went unanswered. Some versions of the myth suggest that Zeus himself had played a part in the abduction by conspiring with his brother. Hades took Persephone with him down into the gloomy Underworld. He promised that she would be queen of his subterranean kingdom, revered and beloved by all—but she was inconsolable.

Hades dragged Persephone into his speeding chariot and she screamed out loud. In her grief, Demeter blighted the countryside, causing the crops to die and all the leaves to turn brown. It seemed as if the entire earth had died. Eventually, the sun god, Helios, told Demeter that her brother Hades had snatched her daughter and spirited her off to his dismal realm.

At this news, Demeter was filled with rage, and wrought yet more destruction upon the earth. At last, Zeus was forced to intervene in the quarrel between his siblings. He ruled that, so long as Persephone had not taken food or drink since she arrived in the Underworld, Hades must agree to release her. A seasonal solution Unfortunately, Persephone had eaten something in the Underworld. Hades had given her a pomegranate, the fruit of the dead, and she had consumed several of the sweet seeds. This resulted in a fresh judgment from Zeus, who decided that Persephone could return to the world above—but she would have to go back down to the Underworld and reside with Hades for three months of every year.

Then, as spring approaches and Persephone returns to the surface of the earth, its fields and forests once again come into bloom. Hymn to Demeter Eleusian mysteries Priests at the shrine of Eleusis, a settlement near Athens in the region of Attica, developed an elaborate set of ceremonies based on the story of the abduction of Persephone.

As with similar rituals in Demeter, Kybele, and other early societies, the Eleusinian cult Persephone on this altar from strove to assert a sense of control over the Chalandri, Attica, ca. The ceremonies involved rites of personal purification, animal sacrifices, libations the ritual pouring of wine onto the earth , fasting, and feasting. Zeus King of the gods. Maenads Delirious, drunken female followers of Dionysus.

Pentheus King of Thebes. Zeus rescued the fetus and sewed the unborn child into his thigh. After this, Dionysus was born again—both as a boy-deity and as an emblem of fertility. Zeus, however, brought his son back to life once more. Women, here he is: the man who mocks you and me and our unruly rituals. Marauding bands of Maenads terrorized the Theban countryside so much that Pentheus, the King of Thebes, banned the cult of Dionysus. Dionysus convinced Pentheus to climb a tree to enjoy the view of the final orgy. Mistaking him for a wild animal, they tore him limb from limb.

Eurydice The bride of Orpheus; killed on her wedding day. Hades The king of the Underworld. Persephone The young wife of Hades and queen of the Underworld. Lyrical lamentation Wandering through the woods, Orpheus mourned Eurydice in impassioned song, which surpassed anything he had ever composed. The music was so moving that the nymphs and gods wept to hear it. Eventually, Orpheus decided to travel to the Underworld to beg Hades and his queen to take mercy on him and return Eurydice to life. In the Underworld, Orpheus played for Hades and Persephone.

The queen was so touched by the music that she begged her husband to break the rules of the Underworld and release Eurydice. Hades agreed, on the condition that Orpheus not lay eyes on Eurydice while she remained in the Underworld. Eurydice followed after him at a distance, so that he would not look upon her. At last, Orpheus caught a glimpse of daylight up ahead. Happily, he glanced back at his wife, only to realize even as he saw her that she was lost to him— pulled back down, despairing, into the realms of death.

The bard is surrounded by wild animals that are entranced by his sublime music. Maia Daughter of Atlas and Pleione; mother of Hermes. Atlas A Titan; father of Maia. Pleione A sea nymph; mother of Maia. Apollo The sun god. Orion A giant hunter. Famously, he was able to flit from one place to another in an instant, carried through the air on winged sandals that would become emblematic of the god himself. His ability to fly was key to his role as courier. The god Hermes, with a painted whiplash in his right hand, leads a chariot carrying the nymphs Basile and Echelos in this marble votive relief dating from BCE.

Hermes had barely stepped outside the cave when he was diverted by the sight of a tortoise. Plucking the strings, he burst into song, recounting epic stories of the world and its creation—of Titans, Olympians, nymphs, men and women, and other beings. Maia in turn would be rewarded with her own winged transformation.

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After the war of the gods with the Titans, The seven daughters of Atlas while Atlas was forced to carry the sky and and Pleione—depicted here by heavens upon his shoulders, his wife, Pleione, Elihu Vedder —fly to was romantically pursued by Orion, the great the heavens and become the huntsman. For seven years Orion harassed not Pleiades. He then transformed Pleione and her daughters—including Maia—into doves.

His multi-faceted genius was also capricious. Walking the beasts backward, so their trail seemed to lead in the opposite direction, he herded them back to his home. Perhaps its oddity is tied to the fact that it is most likely connected directly to Genesis 6 and therefore of particular importance for the Biblical Cosmic War of the Seed. This 1 Peter 3 passage is notorious for its difficult obscurity and lack of consensus among scholarly interpretation. Views are divided over it with a variety of speculative interpretations to pick from.

Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him. The context of this letter is the suffering of believers for their faith under the persecution of the Roman empire Peter is encouraging them to persevere in doing good despite the evil done against them because they will be a witness to the watching world just as Christ was in his suffering.

He then launches into this section as an analogy of what Christ did for us in his journey of suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension. The questions begin to pile up: When did Christ go on this journey? I believe the answers to these questions are very much in line with the storyline of the War of the Seed. It can only be determined by the context. Bodily resurrection is stressed, not the immortality of the soul. While his body was dead for three days, his spirit was alive and in Sheol.

How the second person of the Trinity can experience separation from the Father remains a Biblical mystery. But whether Christ proclaims in his resurrected body or in his immaterial spirit, the next question arises, who are the spirits to which he proclaims and where are they? One of my ancient resources has been the ancient Jewish historian Josephus.

It occurred on the shores of the Euphrates in a tent constructed by Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee at the time. Antipas inserted himself into the negotiations in order to ingratiate himself to Caesar. So, what if the giant Eleazar escaped? What if he found his short way down to Caesarea Philippi, where Jesus was during that last year of ministry? Thus the creative license of the novel applying to historical characters in a feasible scenario.

Jesus Bar Abbas. Zealot revolutionary leader of an insurrection in Jerusalem. But that is not all the novel drew from historical characters. But what many casual readers of the Bible do not know is that Barabbas was a leader of a failed insurrection around that time in Jerusalem Luke He was no ordinary criminal. Demas Samaris. A bestiaries who fights wild animals in the arena. He joins the Zealots to save his brother.

Crucifixion was the punishment for such organized sedition and insurrection. Though the existence of bands of Jewish insurrectionists against Rome at the time of Christ is not in dispute, the exact nature and chronology of the infamous Zealots is. Another brigand leader, Tholomy was executed.

Lilith as she appears in Chronicles of the Nephilim, guarding Gaia the earth goddess tree, with Ningishzida, the serpent. Last post , I wrote about how the Bible subverted a popular pagan creature, the satyr , and quite literally demonized it into a liminal creature of chaos in the desert in Isaiah Another Mesopotamian deity subverted in that same Old Testament narrative is Lilith, the she-demon. Regarding her, the Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible says its Mesopotamian narrative reaches back to the third millennium B.

Here we find Inanna who plants a tree later hoping to cut from its wood a throne and a bed for herself. But as the tree grows, a snake [Ningishzida] makes its nest at its roots, Anzu settled in the top and in the trunk the demon makes her lair… Of greater importance, however, is the sexual aspect of the—mainly—female demons lilitu and lili.

Thus the texts refer to them as the ones who have no husband, or as the ones who stroll about searching for men in order to ensnare them. Lili and Lilitu, the demon daughters of Lilith as they appear in Chronicles of the Nephilim. Lilith was also known as the demon who stole away newborn babies to suck their blood, eat their bone marrow and consume their flesh. In this chapter, prophetic judgment upon Edom involves turning it into a desert wasteland that is inhabited by all kinds of demon-like liminal creatures; ravens, jackals, hyenas, satyrs — and Lilith. Isaiah , RSV 5 For My sword is satiated in heaven, Behold it shall descend for judgment upon Edom And upon the people whom I have devoted to destruction… 13 Thorns shall grow over its strongholds, nettles and thistles in its fortresses.

It shall be the haunt of jackals, an abode for ostriches. Verse 15 talks about the owl that nests and lays and hatches her young in its shadow. The snake of verse 15 would match the Lilith myth v. The correlation is too close to deny that this is another Biblical reference to a popular mythic creature that the Bible writers refer to in demonic terms. The Dead Sea Scrolls of Qumran evidence a preoccupation with demonology that includes reference to this very Isaianic passage.

In The Songs of the Sage , we read an exorcism incantation,. What else can I say? Deuteronomy —17 ESV 16 They stirred him to jealousy with strange gods; with abominations they provoked him to anger. New York: Doubleday, , Kindle Edition. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, Jr. Waltke, electronic ed. Michael O. Wise, Martin G. Abegg Jr. Shortly after, Jesus leads them up to a high mountain where he is transfigured. It was the Abode of the Dead. More on that in future posts. This city was in the heart of Bashan on a rocky terrace in the foothills of Mount Hermon.

This was the celebrated location of the grotto of Banias or Panias, where the satyr goat god Pan was worshipped and from where the mouth of the Jordan river flowed. As scholar Judd Burton points out, this is a kind of ground zero for the gods against whom Jesus was fighting his cosmic spiritual war. Mount Hermon was the location where the Watchers came to earth, led their rebellion and miscegenation, which birthed the Nephilim 1 Enoch It was their headquarters, in Bashan, the place of the Serpent, where Azazel may have been worshipped before Pan as a desert goat idol.

The mountain before them, Hermon, was considered the heavenly habitation of Canaanite gods as well as the very Watchers before whose gates of Hades Jesus now stood. The polemics become clearer when one realizes that gates are not offensive weapons, but defensive means. The Times of Refreshing. Van Mierlo. Summary of the Divine Plan. The Message of the Kingdom.

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Our present object and desire is to discover the way in which the Holy Spirit uses it ; and to find. Apart from this, all our study of the word is useless. It matters not what men may say, whether Pagan or Christian. Heathen Mythology, Human Tradition, and. Christian Theology have no place in this study. They will lead us astray instead of guiding us : they will hinder. The Old Testament has one advantage over the New.

Its Hebrew words are the words of the Holy Spirit. It is the fountain head of that language; and. But when we come to the New Testament, the case is entirely different. Here, the Holy Spirit takes up. It is this that marks the great difference between the languages of the Old and New Testaments. The Hebrew is, in this respect, Divine in its origin ; the Greek is human.

In the former case the Holy. Spirit uses His own words in which to express His own revelation. In the latter case-He takes human. He uses " the tongues of men" and not " of angels ". Now in " the tongues of men " there is this important phenomenon that, man, being a fallen creature,. He uses words suitable to his fallen condition. He has invented words to express his abominable sins; and.

Even words that once had a good meaning he has brought down to his. This is true of all languages : but our examples may, with advantage, be taken from our own. Hence "Jewel's Apology" is the title of Bishop Jewel's defence. But, inasmuch as man's defences are so often only excuses , the word has come to mean. But, because, when one man gets before another, it is generally. But, because people who act on this principle in business,.

This is its meaning in 2 Tim. But, because such are looked on as an easy prey by false teachers, the word has come to mean weak and foolish. STORY meant a tale or history. But because such are more often false than true, the word has fallen to its. But because such, when used of men, generally has to be. And so we might go on to increase our list. Those who care to follow the subject out will find further examples. It was the. But our point is this: that man has made changes in his own language in the course of centuries, and has modified,. Those who do not know. First, that while the words.

For when He takes up human words and deigns to use them to make known Divine, Heavenly, and Infinite. Consequently 1 there are very many Greek words that He never uses at all. He purifies, and uses in a higher sense than that in which the Greeks had ever before used them. Himself coined, which no man had ever used before, and which cannot be found in any human writings. The Twelfth Psalm contains an important statement as to this difference between man's words and Jehovah's.

Man's words Vain, Flattering, Double. Their end. The oppression of the poor. The sighing of the needy. The arising of the LORD. The deliverance from oppression. Jehovah's words. The correspondence of these members is perfect an complete. But the important one is "B" vv. The former. But there is more than this in verse 6. Not only a Jehovah's own words " pure" in themselves; but when. He used earthly words, they had to be "purified" before He could use them. There are one or two points to be noted in this verse in order to understand its lesson.